In today’s complex world, one must adopt social networking if they are to succeed in their tasks. A social network is a group of individuals interconnected through an interdependent system, such as friendship, workplace, common beliefs, dislikes, financial exchanges or kinship. Therefore, social networking involves grouping people into small groups with similar interests. For instance, LinkedIn, a popular social networking site, allows individuals with similar business interests to gel together and exchange ideas freely. Although social networking takes place in person, especially in institutions with a large number of people who share similar interests, such as in universities and workplaces, it has garnered most of its popularity by availing online links. The Internet avails a global interconnection of people with diverse interests. Therefore, it brings people with similar interests together on various websites where they gather information as well as share their experiences on matters such as cooking, friendship, finding jobs, instigating businesses and gardening. These websites, which are known as social sites, have an established theme, such as politics, religion or hobbies. For instance, Twitter is a social site that aims at broadcasting what their members are up to at any particular moment. Whereas some of these issues are complex and delicate, others are solely meant to create sound relationships with people one would never have met in his/her geographical location.
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Social networking presents various benefits to a subscriber. First, one can use social networking sites in order to seek employment. There are several popular sites which one can use to find a job, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn allows the user to view profiles of other users on the site and avails means through which one can connect with them. Secondly, the site allows te user to conduct a company search. The search results mainly consist of people who either work for the company or are closely associated with the firm that you are interested in. The subscriber can then seek ways through which to connect with these people or choose to e-mail them after paying a fixed monthly subscription. Finally, LinkedIn allows its users to post new vacancies. Therefore, a job seeker may choose to respond to a certain posting if he/she is interested. Twitter allows the user to connect to people one has never met with but who share similar interests. Firstly, one can gain access to information about job vacancies or possible opportunities through status updates. Secondly, Twitter allows one to connect to people of his/her choice through ‘following’ them. Once the relationship is approved, the user can read the biography of those that you follow and get in touch with them. Twellow is my most favorite tool on Twitter. In fact, I have placed it on my list of most regularly used programs. It allows the user to search other users’ biography in order to determine suitable networking choices. Facebook avails a job-seeking strategy through notes and status updates. I posted a note when I was first laid off detailing my situation and the type of job I was seeking for. Soon afterwards, I received comments from my Facebook friends informing me on several opportunities. In addition, I update my status frequently and take time to read other people’s in order to gain information on possible opportunities.
Thirdly, social sites come in handy when one needs to keep a close relationship with his/her family and friends. In the past, it was not possible to communicate with my family and friends for they are physically far. However, through Facebook, I have managed to circumvent these hurdles. I only need to update my status about my current situation. Once they learn how I am fairing, they reply through comments on how they are doing. In addition, they offer advice on how best to tackle difficult situations. I also take time to read their status updates, notes and chats which are very informative.
Finally, social sites are very helpful when one is seeking an apartment either for purchase or renting. Companies have linked up with social sites, such as Facebook, in order to provide a valid functionality for users that allows them to post property listings as their status updates. For instance, MyNewPlace, an online rental company, has adopted Facebook Connect functionality. Social sites give feedback in a fast, cheap and efficient way. Hence, companies can use such an evaluation in order to determine areas where improvement is needed. I have observed several friends’ status updates on rental or for-sale properties. When my friends post such statuses, I am more confident about renting or purchasing such a property because they have already provided a first-hand evaluation. Instead of visiting neighbors in order to find out more on a property, social sites provide a hastle-free way whereby I can update my status or write on friends’ walls requesting more information.
In conclusion, social networking has not only simplified various daunting tasks but has also availed new and faster ways through which individuals can gather information. In addition, social sites provide a flexible and user-oriented system which attracts and retains groups with similar interests. Moreover, these sites surpass the traditional barriers, such as physical location and cost. For instance, chat rooms in several social sites, such as Facebook, are not only free but also avail a cheap system through which one can collect and save information. Therefore, one should not neglect the opportunities presented by social networking.
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